I've photographed a ton of NBA games shooting the Memphis Grizzlies at the FedExForum but I'd never trained my camera on an NFL field before Saturday night (Aug. 24).
The venue was LP Stadium, the Nashville home of the Tennessee Titans. I picked up my media credentials at will call and thought back to my first NBA assignment, feeling a few this-is-a-totally-different experience butterflies.
I went through the security check and picked up a media vest to enter the field. As I walked through tunnel the Titans were exiting the locker room. I grabbed my camera and snapped away, capturing their helmet-butting ritual.
I made my way to the field, jockeying for position amid a sea of media and fans. The Titans organization had invited Pop Warner football teams and youth cheerleaders to participate in the pre-game festivities. A band played as players for the Titans and the visiting Atlanta Falcon went through their get-ready routines.
Both teams had their starters playing the entire first half. The Titans came out very aggressive, trying to win their first game of the pre-season. They led form start to finish, walking away with a 27-16 victory.
Along the way, the crowd cheered frenetically, did the wave and danced to "Blurred Lines." I know this was a pre-season game, but the chemistry between the Titans and their fans was definitely on point.
The difference between shooting an NBA game and a pro football game is a matter of conditioning – you had better be in half-way decent shape because running up and down the field to get the best shot comes with the job.
I now have my first NFL game under my belt, and if this is a example of how it's going to be, I am ready to shoot the next one.